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Numerical study of the effect of relative humidity and stoichiometric flow ratio on PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell performance with various channel lengths: An anode partial flooding modelling

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Keith Scott

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Abstract

A two dimensional, along the channel, non-isothermal, two-phase flow, anode partial flooding model was developed to investigate the effects of relative humidity, stoichiometric flow ratio and channel length, as well as their interactive influence, on the performance of a PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell. Liquid water formation and transport at the anode due to the condensation of supersaturated anode gas initiated by hydrogen consumption was considered. The model considered the heat source/sink in terms of electrochemical reaction, Joule heating and latent heat due to water phase-transfer. The non-uniform temperature distributions inside the MEA (membrane electrode assembly) and channels at various stoichiometric flow ratios were demonstrated. The Peclet number was used to evaluate the contributions of advection and diffusion on liquid water and heat transport. Results indicated that higher anode relative humidity is required to the improved cell performance. As the decrease in the anode relative humidity and increase in channel length, the optimal cathode relative humidity was increased. The initial increase in stoichiometric flow ratio improved the limiting current densities. However, the further increases led to limited contributions. The Peclet number indicated that the liquid water transport through the electrode was mainly determined by the capillary diffusion mechanism. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Xing L, Cai Q, Xu CX, Liu CB, Scott K, Yan YS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Energy

Year: 2016

Volume: 106

Pages: 631-645

Print publication date: 01/07/2016

Online publication date: 12/04/2016

Acceptance date: 21/03/2016

ISSN (print): 0360-5442

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6785

Publisher: Elsevier

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2016.03.105

DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2016.03.105


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